News / Economy

Five Years After Financial Meltdown, Obama Says More Work Ahead

Five Years After Financial Meltdown, Obama Says More Work Aheadi
X
September 17, 2013 1:42 AM
President Barack Obama has marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. financial crisis. As VOA senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports, he claims credit for major progress in the recovery from near collapse five years ago, but says more work lies ahead.
— President Barack Obama has marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. financial crisis. He claims credit for major progress in the recovery from near collapse five years ago, but says more work lies ahead.

An economy shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs, banks saddled with worthless subprime mortages, millions losing their homes, and an auto industry near collapse -- It was a downward spiral that began on September 15, 2008 with the bankruptcy and collapse of Lehman Brothers, followed by bailouts for other financial firms considered too big to fail.
 
And that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.

When Obama took office in January 2009, the financial system itself was near collapse.

He spent much of his first term implementing a stimulus passed by Congress and bailing out the struggling auto industry. On Monday, he reviewed the past.

"We put people to work repairing roads and bridges, to keep teachers in our classrooms, our first responders on the streets," he said. "We helped responsible homeowners modify their mortgages so more of them could keep their homes.  We helped jump-start the flow of credit to help more small businesses keep their doors open.  We saved the American auto industry."

Other steps included cutting middle class and small business taxes, financial system reform, and establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But the U.S. economy continues to face challenges.  

Obama pointed to a growing income gap.

"Even though businesses are creating new jobs, and have broken record profits, the top one percent of Americans took home 20 percent of the nation's income last year, while the average worker isn't seeing a raise at all," he said. "In fact, that understates the problem.  Most of the gains have gone to the top one tenth of one percent."

Republican opponents in Congress rejected much of the president’s proposals for new stimulus and tax reform.

The negative political atmosphere in Washington, with a divided Congress, promises more conflict.

Republicans are threatening to defund Obama's signature healthcare law which could trigger a government shutdown, and a new battle looms over raising the government’s debt limit, something Obama says is non-negotiable. He claims the Republicans’ budget priorities would place the economy at risk.

He said, "Are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they are willing to tank the entire economy, just because they can't get their way on this issue?  Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points?"

The government runs out of spending authority on September 30.  Obama will continue his focus on the economy.  Congress will spend the next two weeks trying to hammer out a new budget.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.